Businesses could get federal aid from toxic algae

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Businesses along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast might be able to get federal aid if they’ve suffered economic losses due to toxic blue-green bacteria in the water.

At least five businesses from each affected county have to show they’ve suffered substantial economic injury.

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Governor Phil Bryant could then make an economic injury declaration, triggering federal loans to businesses that can’t pay ordinary expenses because of a disaster.

A harmful cyanobacteria bloom fed by pollution from the flooded Mississippi River has plagued the state’s Gulf Coast where beaches have been under an advisory warning people not to have contact with the water.

Popularly known as blue-green algae, it can cause rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea.